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THE MAN WAS LEAVING HIS OWN FRONT DOOR 



■^he TOY 

SHOP 

A Romantic Story 
OF Lincoln the Man 

BY 

MARGARITA SPALDING GERRY 




HARPER & BROTHERS 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 
MCMVIII 



Copyright, 1908, by Harper & Brothers. 
All rights reserved. 

Published September, iqo8. 
I 



The child is eiemaU ^nd so are toys and tears 
and laughter^ When the house is put in order 
by strange men, <Tvhen the clothes that ^ere 
^orn and the toots that 'zvere used are put 
am)ay, there ^ill be found an upper room full 
of toys* These remain. 




THE TOY. SHOP 



THE TOY- SHOP 



HE Man was leaving his own front 
doon On the steps he paused and 
looked sombrely back^ The white 
pillars of the facade rose before 
him in stately fashion* They re- 
minded him of the care he was evading for 
the momentt and he sighed* Though he shut 
his eyes determinedly, he knew that another 
grim building just beyond, the usual end of 
his journeying, demanded him, and he sighed 
again* This time there was something more 
than weariness in the sound* 

From around the corner of the house, 
which almost hid from view the white tents 
3 




THE TOY-SHOP 



of the Home Guards ran a child. He was 
bright-facedt and magnificent in a minia- 
ture officer^s uniform. 

** Oht papa-dayr^ he cried. ** Never mind 
the curtains for my stage. You are always 
too busy now to see my plays, anyway — 
He interrupted himself to fling this in petu- 
lantly: But get lots of soldiers — and one 
company of cavalry. I can't get him sur- 
rounded without two more companies — and 
six cannon 

The child lisped so in his eagerness that 
no one but his father could have under- 
stood him, and his father was so lost in 
his gloomy thought that he did not know 
the child had spoken. When the expected 
reply did not come, the boy looked his 
wonder. 

Papa-day — papa-day!^' he cried, giving 
the man a little push. I want some 
soldiers!'^ 

4 



THE TOY-SHOP 



Startled oat of his sadness, the father 
looked at the child^ 

Soldiers? All right, son; Fm off for a 
walk now* I saw a shop the other day/' 

He walked off* It was not a beatrtiful 
street down which he turned* Even the 
fine width of it suggested an inflated sense 
of its own importance* There were some 
good lines in the structure at the first corner, 
but the building was unfinished, and droop- 
ed sadly, like an eagle without its wings* 
Beyond that corner the paying of the street 
ended* Looking at the mud, the Man wish- 
ed vaguely that he had worn his boots* 

He swung down the row of dingy busi- 
ness houses, his eye on the ragged sky-line* 
His ungainly strides covered the ground 
rapidly, even though in abstraction he 
stumbled over the uneven brick sidewalk* 
The Man's face fell again into lines of mel- 
ancholy thought* 

a 5 



THE TOY-SHOP 



There is no hope for it,*' he told himself ♦ 
I will have to sign the warrant. I can^t 
find the shadow of an exctise. It is a clear 
case of desertion/^ His thot^ghts drifted to 
the armies facing each other in the cheer- 
lesst raw December weather — his army sod- 
den with fogSt sullen with inaction* **The 
poor young fellow must be punished/' 
The Man's heart ached with comprehen- 
sion. He understood so well the wave of 
homesickness, for which he had the more 
tender sympathy because of the absence of 
it in his own cheerless boyhood. After 
all, he is a soldier, and he must be punished 
for the good of the others. And that boy 
— like so many other boys — would have 
been a hero, not a deserter, at another turn 
of the wheel. It is idleness that makes 
traitors of them. Where can I find a man 
who will end all this?'' 

He passed the comfortable portico of a 
6 



THE TOY-SHOP 



church which carried with it a breath of 
thrifty village life* He had been there the 
Sunday before, and the minister had prayed 
for peace* ** Peace The word smote 
him, for he had ordained wan ** Peace! 
How can I compass it? Somewhere in the 
Eternal Consciousness must rest the knowl- 
edge* But how can I discover it? ^ Such 
knowledge is too high; I cannot attain to 
iif groaned the Man* 

With the thought he raised his eyes* He 
was opposite a young ladies* boarding- 
school* It was a decorous place, sedately 
retired on a terrace* A group of young 
women in billowing crinolines were return- 
ing from the daily walk* There was a 
lively ripple of subdued comment as he 
looked up* 

** Did you ever see such awkwardness?*' 
asked of her companion a girl from Virginia* 
**And the creases in his coat!** There was 
7 



THE TOY-SHOP 



misdci mirtht m the midst of which a young 
lady from Maryland laughed out: 

Did you ever see him try to bow to a 
lady?" 

Quite ignorant of these girlish strictures, 
the Man caught the eye of the youngest 
boarder, who, kept in the house with a sore 
throat, was flattening her nose hopelessly 
against the window-pane^ Something in 
the face of the sad-looking man made her 
throw him a shy little appeal for sympathy 
from two red and swollen eyes* He an- 
swered it* Then: 

That child, too, I may have made father- 
less even now," he thought, and shuddered* 

How to end it ?" His mind kept him 
remorselessly at work* have failed* 
Another man might know — so many claim 
to know* If a better man were in my 
place, perhaps he could stop the killing and 
the sorrow*" 

8 



THE TOY-SHOP 



He was approaching a poorer part of the 
cityt where modest homes and small in- 
dustries bound about the lives of simple 
folk, quite apart from the square, dignified 
old houses where the aristocrats lived* 
The houses seemed to press in upon him 
like the sorrows of the world* He thought 
of those who had gone out from them* 

My hand sent them out — the bright 
youth. North and South — to kill and to be 
killed* And my hand cannot bring them 
back* Had I the right to do it? How 
could I have thought that any good could 
come from such as I? I thought I saw 
clearly — I, sprung out of such darkness — 
having seen such sin* What right had I 
to think that I could lead ? It was a crime V* 

He came to a group of tiny two-story 
shops — cobblers' rooms, dingy groceries* 

Would it not be less a sin to end it all — 
to make way for some man who was not 
9 



THE TOY-SHOP 



cursed before he was bom? Swely it would 
not be a sin to lay it all down — no matter 
the way — to end it all — to make way — 

A little child, turning to go into one of 
the shops, brushed lightly against him, and 
he started* When he looked up his face 
was tragic* Through the daze came a 
recollection* Surely it was here, the fifth 
door from the comer, that he was going* 
It was a toy-shop he was looking for* Yes, 
that was the name — Schotz* For the son 
had said he wanted toys* The father en- 
tered the shop, though he saw but dimly* 
His mind was turned in on its own sorrows, 
and he went in, muttering to his own ears: 

To end it all — to make way/^ 

He had to wait for a moment while the 
mite who had ushered him in made a 
purchase* It was a girl child* She was 
too awe-struck by the glories laid before her 
to talk; but she managed to point with a 
10 



THE TOY-SHOP 



fat forefinger to the penny dofl she desired* 
The gesttsre with which she seized it brought 
— strangely enough — a smile to the deep-set 
eyes of the stranger who stood watching her* 
His face was quite different when he smiled* 
Lines which had seemed nothing but deep- 
graven channels for sorrow became paths 
for tenderness* Outside he heard her break 
into excited, high-voiced triumph, which 
was mingled with the chatter of her mates* 
The little shop was a modest place* On 
one side was a counter where, safe under 
glass, were home-made candies and cakes, 
with a rosy-cheeked apple or two* But, 
lining the walls, tumbling over shelves, 
crowded into old-fashioned presses, were 
the toys* There were doUs, of course, 
patrician wax dolls with delicate eyebrows 
of real hair, hearty, wooden-jointed dolls 
that were a real comfort to little mothers* 

There were wheels of fortune where one 
n 



THE TOY-SHOP 



could see a steeple-chase if he spun hard 
enough to make the horses vault the hurdles* 
There was a fascinating confusion of supple- 
jackst house furniture^ houses of Oriental 
magnificencet little imported German toys 
^horsest trees, dogs* As the Man^s mel- 
ancholy eyes comprehended all that the 
place contained to minister to childish de- 
light, something of the bitterness left them* 
In its place was a curious inertness* One 
would have said that the man's being was 
paralyzed with doubt* 

The next instant he had seen something 
that brought grief back again — something 
that reminded him of his burden* For, 
marching valiantly over the shelves, storm- 
ing wooden boxes flanked with cannon, 
were toy soldiers* There were, too, all the 
necessary trappings of combat — swords, 
guns soldier suits, arrayed in which youth- 
ful generals could marshal their forces and 
12 



THE TOY-SHOP 



sweep the enemy's army before them — while 
their fathers elsewhere learned the tragedy 
of war^ 

Behind the counter was a pretty, young- 
faced woman, who looked her fifty years 
only from the softness sometimes brought 
by the records of many days* She smiled at 
him in friendly fashion and, unhurried, wait- 
ed his request* "While she reached for the 
toys the son had asked for, the Man, bent 
over the counter, fingered the dolls left 
lying there from the last small purchaser 
with clumsy, gentle fingers* 

''Who makes that 'dolly' furniture?'' 
he asked, idly* " I wish I could get any one 
to work for me one-half so well* Carved, 
too* I didn't know there were tools fine 
enough to make those tiny wreaths*" 

Mrs* Schotz shook her head at him good- 
humoredly* 

My man, he speak English* I — not — 
13 



THE TOY-SHOP 



can/' Following her gesture, the stranger 
sawt in the back part of the shop, a patient 
figure at work* 

Joseph Schot2 was sitting in an invalid- 
chair, a table littered with tools and bits of 
wood by his side* One leg, bandaged and 
swathedt rested on a cushion* His strong 
peasant face was seamed and drawn with 
pain* 

The Man was beside him in an instant* 
*^ Yest I make the dolls' houses and carve 
the furniture — great work, that, for a man, 
sir? I used to be a cabinet-maker at An- 
napolis — before my leg got so bad* No, 
sir, I did not learn my trade there* I was 
apprenticed to Cadieux, who was cabinet- 
maker to Napoleon* Yes, the Emperor* 
Who else could it have been? But that 
was after those pigs of Russians shot me 
in the leg* It was their ball that brought 
me here,'' with a contemptuous glance at 
(4 



THE TOY-SHOP 



his bandaged leg* I was color-bearer — 
you see, I was too young to go in any other 
way* I was sixteen when I was wounded/' 
The Man found himself a chair* 
** Why, nOt sir, it isn't much of a story* 
It is only that I could never stay still* I 
don't believe men were ever meant to* 
That's why it's — " He checked himself 
with a glance at his wife* I was bom 
in the Tyrol, but the name of Buonaparte 
pufled me to France* Why, sir, I don't 
know what it was, but he is the only great 
man I have ever known* He made you 
drop everything and go with him, that is 
all* We never stopped to ask what it was, 
but — ^he knew his soldiers, he didn't know 
what it was to be afraid— and where he 
wanted to go he went*" 

The Man, who had been listening thus 
far with sympathy, started — at these last 
words — into tenseness* 
15 



THE TOY-SHOP 



^^Did yoxxt Napoleon never — doubt?'' he 
asked, with rather a breathless voice* 

If he didf no one ever saw him/' chuck- 
led the cabinet-maker, indulgently* ^^That 
was why we followed him* It sounds like 
very little, but — if he could call me to-day, 
I'd jump up and hop on one leg after him*" 

Had Joseph Schotz not been lost in the 
one story that never failed to thrill him — 
of his shattered dreams and his hero — he 
would have noticed that the face of the 
tall man who sat before him had lapsed 
into hopelessness* This time there was 
even something desperate in the eyes* 
But Napoleon's color-bearer went on: 

*^But you see — instead of that I'm here*" 
He glanced at his leg again with a repressed 
passion of bitterness, which made him in 
some dark way kin to the man who listened* 
*'It was when I couldn't fight for him that 
I learned to carve the wreaths on the chairs 
S6 



THE TOY-SHOP 



at the Taileries — after all, that was near 
the end* ♦ ♦ ♦ It is never as the Emperor on 
his throne that I think of him — I have seen 
him so — or as the general on horseback; 
but as the soldier in his gray overcoat going 
about among us* He had a way of stand- 
ing, sir, as if you couldn't dislodge him — 
that was Buonaparte/' 

Mrs* Schotz had gone back to the counter 
with the toys the stranger sought* With 
an irresolute effort he moved listlessly 
toward them* There was a whole regi- 
ment of little men in blue, and with them 
a gorgeous officer in gold-decked uniform 
waving his sword above a prancing steed* 
The Man laid his hand upon the toy and 
moved it absently into position at the head 
of the men* The brave general toppled 
spinelessly over when the great gnarled 
hand was removed* The woman shook her 
head* 

M 



THE TOY-SHOP 



^^He not — can — standt"' she said, in her 
hesitating English* *^ Too heavy — of the 
— head* This — substituting a plain little 
captain with modest sword held at atten- 
tion — this stand so you — not — can — dis — 
lodge him/^ 

The Man raised his head alertly as the 
woman echoed so unconsciously her hus- 
band's words* The movement was a quick- 
er one than could have been expected from 
the languor of the whole figure* He gave 
a quick glance from the man to the woman 
and then at the toy soldiers* Then he 
squared his shoulders* His hand closed 
again upon the top-heavy little general 
andt half- absently t swept him aside* The 
plain little officer was moved into position* 
The officer stood* A light that was half 
humor and half inspiration broke upon the 
rugged face of the Man who bent over them 
both- 



THE TOY-SHOP 



No more generals on horseback/' he 
mtrttered* My man may ride when it is 
necessary, but he must know how to walk, 
too* I want one — I wonder if I know him 
— who * stands so you can't dislodge him ' 
and who * knows his men/ Perhaps they 
have given me the answer to it all* Per- 
haps, after all, I can find him* Per- 
haps* And * where he wants to go ' — was 
that the word?'' He pored over the toys* 
The woman went back to her knitting* 
The click of needles or the noise of a tool 
raised or laid down was the only sound 
heard in the shop* 

Are you buying the soldiers for your 
boys? It's wonderful how they take to 
them these days*" The voice of the cab- 
inet-maker broke the stillness* He repeated 
the question before the Man heard* And 
even then the answer was slow in coming* 

I have but one boy to buy toys for-^ 
J9 



THE TOY-SHOP 



now/' said the man, at lengths The other 
one — that is left — is too old. And, in spite 
of allt the child must be made happy/^ 

He tamed again to the soldiers as if 
they contained the answer to some ques- 
tion* His eyes fell again upon the cap- 
tain* He nodded as though he recognized 
some one* ** I believe I — know,'' he 
thought, half-fearfully* He * stands so 
you can't dislodge him ' — he ^ doesn't know 
what it is to be afraid ' — he * walks about 
among his men ' — he * knows them/ " The 
man seized the officer almost fiercely and 
held it in his big hand* 

I will put him there* He will stand* 
And " — his face lit up with sudden fire — 

and * where he wants to go ' he shall go, 
please God !" 

He swept the soldiers into a heap and 
pushed them from him, waiting impatiently 
while Mrs* Schotz deftly made them up into 
20 



THE TOY-SHOP 



2l parcel* Bat when that was done he still 
lingered* Suddenly he turned to Joseph 
Schotz with a sort of desperation* 

Did he never — waver — your Napoleon 
— even when he watched thousands of you 
— even men with children — die, and die 
because he placed you there — bound in the 
shambles?^' 

The cabinet-maker raised his head from 
his work in surprise* The inexplicable agony 
in the face of the other man brought an 
unusual thoughtfulness into the peasant's 
face* 

** I do not know — he hesitated — ** I 

am not sure* He must have felt — but no 

one ever saw him* He could not stop* 

There was not a moment when, if he had 

halted — even to pity — all the great Thing 

he was building would not have fallen about 

his ears — and carried all France down with 

it* Not he could not stop* If he had been 
3 2\ 



THE TOY- SHOP 



of those who falter — here Schotz shrugged 
his shotilders with the gesture of the French- 
men he had fought among — Buonaparte 
should not have played the game of war/' 

The tall man winced^ He looked for a 
moment as if the cabinet-maker had taunt- 
ed him — knowing* Then he straightened 
his shoulders* His face hardened into lines 
of steadfastness and determination* Tak- 
ing up his parcel — 

Thank yout^' he said, with a deeper 
intonation than one would have expected 
in return for so slight a deed — thank 
you/' he said to Joseph Schotz, and wrung 
his hand with a grasp that hurt* Then he 
hurried out* 

When they had watched the great figure 
out of sight — 

^* Who is he — that tall man? Do you 
knowt my wife?'' asked Joseph Schotz, in 
their own tongue* 

22 



THE TO SHOP 



Some Americant** replied his wife, with 
democratic unconcern* Then when her hus- 
band continued to gaze earnestly at the door 
from which their guest had departedt A 
sad-looking man, I think/' 

YeSt he is one that carries with him the 
sorrows of the world* When he came into 
the world he had already known what it 
was to sorrow* Men like that must learn 
to laugh or they cannot live/' 

**What does it matter?'" she saidt rally- 
ing him* He is not thy Napoleon**' 

**No, he is not Napoleon/' replied the 
man, quickly, looking down at his hand, 
still red from the pressure of the bony 
fingers* No — Napoleon never played — 
with toys*" 

Joseph Schotz was weaker in the summer 
heat when the Man next came to the toy- 
shop* The wife was at market, so there 
23 



THE TOY^SHOP 



was nobody in the place save Joseph and 
the little neighbor girl who was being taught 
to take in pennies like a woman grown* 
She was not an altogether profitable clerks 
however^ for she oirtdid Mrs* Schotz in giv- 
ing too good measure for the pennies* Birt 
there was need for her help, and soon there 
would be — more* 

The Man entered the shop eagerly* From 
his remembering glance that comprehended 
the place to its farthest shelf one would 
have said that he had just left it* He was 
stooping and carewomt but his eyes sought 
the toys with expectation* And as he 
dwelt upon this spot which ministered to 
pure delight — a territory consecrated to 
those flowerings of grown-up fancy which 
the children call toys — his bent shoulders 
straightened and his deep eyes began to 
smile* For a few moments he said nothing* 

He was like a man who was drinking great 
24 



THE TOY-SHOP 



draughts of water, a parched mailt new 
from desert sands* At last he crossed to 
where Joseph waited* 

** I fotind my man/' he began, with out- 
stretched hand* Then he checked himself, 
realizing that Joseph could not know* In 
that moment he saw the ravages that suffer- 
ing had wrought upon the sick man's face, 
and a new look came into his eyes* 

^^How is it with you, my friend?'' he 
asked* His voice would have been tender 
had he not taken care to make it merely 
frank — as from one man to another who 
was bearing pain without words* Then 
Joseph saw that he was changed from the 
man who had sought the shop the Decem- 
ber gone by* There was sorrow in the eyes, 
but there was no more despair* 

^* Some toy soldiers, please," the stranger 
said to the little girl who waited behind 
the counter* His tone had both firmness 
25 



THE TOY-SHOP 



and purpose in it, but it had changed into 
mere kindness when he turned again to 
Joseph* 

What do you think of our new general, 
friend Schotz?'" he asked* 

He knows how to win victories/' re- 
plied Joseph, ^* but — 

** It is longt is it not, too long? Would 
your Napoleon have ended it sooner?"' 
The glance of the deep-set eyes was keen* 
At last he answered the uncertainty on the 
peasant's face with a great sigh* 

Yes, it is long — oh, more than that," 
he interrupted himself to say to the little 
clerk — more soldiers than that*" He 
crossed the room to give her a gentle pat 
on the cheek, a caress which somehow 
made her feel his impatience to be at play* 
We need all you can get, all you have* 
We must reach the end quickly, no matter 
how many lives it may cost* That is the 
26 



THE TOY-SHOP 



only way to be merciftil/' He was talking 
now to himself* The child made round 
eyest btrt she brought the legions out* Be- 
fore they were all there the Man was back 
at the counter* 

*^ Cannon^ too — lots of them*^' His voice 
was absentt for he was arranging the sol- 
diers into opposing camps* There must 
be some plan which will end it* This box 
will do for a fort* This for another* This 
chap is making f acest but well use him, too* 
Into your shell, sir* It's the rampart we 
need*'' The jack-in-the-box was cut short 
in the midst of a horrible grimace* 

'^"Was the boy pleased with his toys?" 
asked Joseph Schotz from his end of the 
room* His voice was wistful; he had never 
needed to use his skill for the delight of 
children of his own* 

'^Yes, my friend*" 
Yes, there is indeed a change in the 
27 



THE TOY-SHOP 



Man since his first visit,*' thought Joseph. 
The smile with which the guest looked up 
from his toys warmed the sick man's heart, 
about which a chill had been gathering. 

But he wants more. He always does.'' 
There was the purest delight in the father's 
face as he spoke. ** Just the other day I 
came across an upper chamber in our house 
which was full of toys. They were all for- 
gotten; but each one had made him happy 
for a day. That's the thing. He doesn't 
even have to learn his lessons from them 
as I do." He smiled whimsically. am 
trying to give him all the toys I — didn't 
have. And " — his voice died away, and he 
forced the words with difficulty — he must 
have all that I meant to give the boy who 
— went away." 

You mustn't spoil him," said Schotz, 
after a moment, with the perfunctory mo- 
rality of the childless man. 

28 



THE TOY^SHOP 



The smile broke oat again^ ** Bless yoti, 
yoti can^t spoil children with love* Why, 
my boy plays with his soldiers, but he 
doesn't know that war is anything but a 
game* I wish his father coald win battles 
with toy soldiers and tin swords/' His 
eyes were drawn back to the cotinter* The 
next moment he was lost to every sight and 
sound* 

Marvellous operations were soon in prog- 
ress on the counter* One set of men was 
intrenched behind all the boxes within 
sight* Advance and retreat — shifting to 
right and to left — both sides alert, one 
would have said — they seemed so under 
the great hands that hovered over them — 
the besieged army handled with the same 
cool intelligence — both sides manoeuvred 
for position* 

The cuckoo-clock in the corner struck 
eleven* The little clerk stared with mouth 
29 



THE TOY-SHOP 



open at the big man who played with 
toys* Schotz watched him with question- 
ing eyes as the stranger knitted shaggy 
brows over some problem that baffled 
him* 

Creeping over nearer^ closing in arotmd 
by patient degrees, came the army mar- 
shafled by the plain little officer, with 
sword at attention, marching on foot at 
the head of his men* 

** I have itr' cried the Man, in heart-felt 
tritimph* He looked up* There was a 
dawning realization of his audience* 

A queer thing for an old man like me 
to be playing with toy soldiers/' he laughed, 
sweeping the late combatants into an un- 
dignified heap* 

So have I seen the officers at home in 
the ecole de rruerre* Such play would aid 
you were you a soldier*'* 

The tall man shot a quick glance at 
30 



THE TOY-SHOP 



Joseph, in which there was mtich humor 
and some suspicion* 

Tell me — he began* Btrt he did not 
finish his sentence* He was feverishly anx- 
iotis to be gone* There was so much to be 
done; the child's fingers were clumsy as she 
wrapped xsp the soldiers* But he found 
time for a smile at the little maid and a 
sympathetic pressure of Joseph's hand be- 
fore he crossed the threshold and was gone* 
At the same moment there was a bustle 
at the door* Mrs* Schota^ hurried in, mar- 
ket-basket in hand* She had not laid it 
down before she was at her husband's side, 
her anxious eyes searching his face to find 
how he had fared* 

Clara, the tall man has been here 
again*" 

Yes," she said, I met him* Do you 
know yet who he is?" 

I have thought that I have somewhere 
3i 



THE TOY-SHOP 



seen a face like that/' replied Joseph, slowly* 
Something made me feel — his playing 
with the soldiers, which yet seemed more 
than play — he might be in the army — he 
might even be an officer — and yet he had 
not the air* Still, they are not all drilled 
in schools, these officers in this war/* 

** But listen,*' said his wife, as she seated 
herself by him, with joy that there was 
something to tell that he wotild be glad to 
hear* ** I have something to tell you* 
This morning, on my way to market, every- 
where there were soldiers — dirty, lean as 
from hunger, faces black with powder stains* 
At first I was afraid — '* 

But, my wife,** said Joseph, indulgent- 
ly, what was there to be feared?** 

I will tell you* A crowd of soldiers 
came swaggering into Schmidt's* They 
ordered him to wait on them, and when he 

asked for money for the food, they shook 
32 



THE TOY-SHOP 



their fists at him with «gly words, and 
called for all to come and take what they 
would^ Two officers harried up and ordered 
them to return to their ranks, btrt they 
laughed at the officers/^ 

Mtrtinyf" whispered Napoleon's soldier, 
his face pale with excitement* 

They swore oaths and said that they 
would fight no more battles for men who 
were old women and stayed at home while 
they sweated and bled and were starving/' 
** Without doubt their officers ordered 
them into arrest?'' demanded Joseph, 
fiercely* 

Who was there to arrest them? The 
officers looked white, and I was trembling* 
More soldiers came into the square, until 
everywhere there were angry faces and 
bodies swaying this way and that, while 
the men were thinking what evil they should 
do. At that moment a carriage drove up 
33 



THE TOY-SHOP 



dt full speed* There was one man in it. 
He stood up; he was a tall man* A hesitat- 
ing sort of shotit went up from the soldiers. 
Then there was a great mtrttering, and every 
one rushed toward him, and some were 
shaking their fists* 

The man stood still* He said no word. 
But little by little the muttering stopped 
and there was silence* Then the crowd 
began backing away from him* There was 
a break in the mass^ and through it I saw 
his face* He was smiling with — well, the 
way fathers look at their children that have 
hurt themselves because they were naughty 
and are yet not very bad. Still there was 
silence*'' 

He held them so?*' broke in Joseph. 
But then he was a great man* But who 
Wait* He began talking to them* I 
couldn't hear what he said, for all the men 

began crowding up around him* But one 
54 



THE TOY-SHOP 



moment they latighed^ and the next they 
were wiping their eyes with the back of 
their hands/' 
Joseph was listening with shining eyes* 
When he had driven off again the sol- 
diers went back to their camp* Some of 
them looked downcast and ashamed^ btrt 
most of them were jtist boyish and good- 
nataredt as if they had forgotten how they 
felt before* One boy latighed as he passed 
me : 

** * Say, that was a good one about the 
tin soldier* I felt like a toy soldier myself 
when he tamed those eyes of his on meV 

Who was it asked Joseph SchotZt 
eagerly* ** Have they such a man? Was it 
the new general? I have thought he might 
be such a man — to win such victories* And 
yet — his face fell — ** that one is a short 
man, and this, you said, was very tall*'' 

**The general? No!" said Mrs* Schotz, 
35 



THE TOY-SHOP 

eontempttioijsly* It was not the generaL 
As he drove of ft some boys shotrtedt * HtJrrah 
for the President!' 

** The President!"' Joseph echoed* 
The President* Andt Joseph^ when I 
saw his face I knew him/' She paused to 
make sure of the effect upon her petted in- 
valid of what she had to say* ^* It was he 
who came to us to buy toy soldiers!" 

She fell back triumphantly when she had 
fired this bolt of wonder* But Joseph was 
looking at her with eyes in which there was 
no wonder — only comprehension* 

Sot" he saidt slowly — so— that was 
the President* So Napoleon would have 
done*" 

The doctor had told Joseph that he must 
go to his bed* The old soldier winced* A 
man may be brave before bullets and yet 
quail before the doctor* The bed was 
36 



THE TOY-SHOP 



brought down into the little kitchen back 
of the shop* Joseph insisted on it* 

It is that I may be able to help you tend 
the shop/' he said* But the real reason was 
that he might not be banished from the 
children's domain* He could still see Minna 
and Rosa and Bennie come for their toys* 

Thus it happened that one morning 
Joseph sat propped up in his narrow wood- 
en bed* Mrs* Schotz bustled, with much 
demonstration of activity, about her work* 
Joseph almost wished that she would go 
up-stairs* He was forced to keep up an 
appearance of much cheerfulness — if he 
screwed up his face when the pain came, 
she wept* 

** I wonder if the President will come 
to-day/' he thought* ** He said he would 
as soon as he got back* I want to see how 
he looks since the surrender* Strange that 
it should have been on Palm Sunday*" His 
4 37 



THE TOY-SHOP 



eyes strayed to the mantel-piece^ where a 
spray of palm waved from a gilt vase* The 
wife had had it in her hand when she came 
in from the street with the news the day 
before* 

If he woald come, it wotild be easier/' 
thought Joseph* He would take my hand 
and look deep into my eyes — it would be as 
if he took some of the pain away from me — 
into his own heart*'' And then, because 
some childishness is permitted to the sick, 
he moved peevishly in his bed and thumped 
his pillow* 

Suddenly the door opened* It was the 
President* Still, a different President — al- 
most a new one* His shoulders were straight 
and held well back* He walked with a sort 
of joyous impatience, as though he brushed 
aside palms of victory* His eyes glowed* 
He spoke as he entered, and his voice broke 
into a boyish laugh* When he looked into 
38 



THE TOY-SHOP 



the room and saw Joseph, the ftill meaning 
of the change struck him and his face fell* 
For a moment he looked almost abashed* 
Then, shaking his head with decision, he 
strode through the shop to where the sick 
man lay* He took Joseph^s hand with 
resolute happiness and held it, looking full 
into the other man^s eyes* There was no 
need of words between them* A heartening 
and a tonic influence went from one man 
to the other* 

It is over, friend Schotz/' he said, buoy- 
antly* ** The nightmare is over; we are 
awake*^' He paused and added, under his 
breath, with humble, halting reverence. 
Thank Godr' 

They have surrendered*'^ Joseph Schotz 
raised himself on his elbows* 

It was the meeting of two great men,'' 
said the President* ** Mine and the other* 
He's a general after our own hearts — eh, 
39 



THE TOY-SHOP 



Schotz — the modest man you helped me to 
choose 

The sick man^s face was every mintrte 
taking on the lines of hope and manly force* 
The other man watched him with tender 
eyest in which the pity was carefully veiled* 

*^ Yes, we chose him well, my President/' 
said Joseph, with ahnost a swagger* 

You will never know how great is 
my gratitude, Schotz,^' suggested the Presi- 
dent, because you can never know from 
what you saved me — you and the toy-shop* 
The day when first I came here I had fallen 
into a pit digged by my own nature* You 
showed me the way out*'' His eyes were 
on the sick man, and he chose the words 
that would hearten most* It was a great 
service you did me — and, through me, this 
great land of ours*" 

There was a light in Joseph's eyes that 

had been absent for many days* 
40 



THE TOY-SHOP 



** And now it is over/^ The President 
drew a breath so great that his gaant frame 
expanded* He settled into a chair near the 
bed with a sigh of restftshiess* The boys 
will come home* Their mothers will meet 
them* Their fathers will grip their hands* 
Not I will not think of those who will be 
missing — the time for that has passed* The 
children will hang abotft their father's neck* 
And they will be together*^' The light grew 
in the President's eyes, tintil it seemed they 
blamed with a love which was that of child 
and father in one and contained the passion 
and tenderness of the tiniversal lover* 

Then the President rose, shaking himself 
like a great spaniel and laughing from de- 
light in livings 

There are things to be done — oh, the 
fight is not over* Perhaps it is only began* 
Btrt to-day is my perfect moment — the first 
perfect moment of my life, God knows/' 
41 



THE TOY-SHOP 



He paused and raised himself to his full 
stature — challenging his fate* ** It is enough 
to have lived for* I am content!"' 

He turned to Schotz again, and his face 
was radiant with steadfast brightness* 

There will be a firture, my friend* We 
are ready for it, are we not? I know the 
path will be clear* I have begun — the 
first thing to be done is to heal* Beyond 
that — he paused, and his forehead con- 
tracted slightly as if from doubt — all 
is in the shadow*'" A veil made vague the 
joyousness of his eyes* It seemed to Joseph 
that his great friend was looking upon some- 
thing that he himself could not see* The 
face brightened — the eyes opened wide — 
became luminous* ♦ ♦ * The President took 
up his words in an altered tone* Beyond 
that — I cannot see,"' he ended, happily* 

Joseph watched him for a moment* 
Then, uneasy, he put out his hand and 
42 



THE TOY^SHO P 



touched him timidly on the sleeve* The 
President smiled at him again* There 
seemed to be no transition^ and yet — they 
were back again in the world where things 
were to be done and — borne* 

And nowt friend Joseph (the Presi- 
dent took ttp again the task he had set 
himself in the shadowed toy-shop)^ ** when 
we were in the conquered city I found a 
toy — He interrupted himself to laugh. 
^* It was the only loot I permitted myself*'^ 
Joseph stared at him with puzzled ex- 
pectation* 

For, after all, toys are the only things 
that are worth the consideration of wise 
folks like you and me*^^ He was busily 
extricating a package from his pocket* 
It was done up in many wrappings* He 
watched while the sick man pulled off the 
paperst one after another* Joseph became 
angry with them — they seemed endless. 
43 



THE TOY-SHOP 



Then the President chuckled gleefullyt for 
he saw the color coming into Joseph^s face* 
At last the toy stood in Joseph^s hand re- 
vealed— a little tin soldier* Joseph looked 
at it in wonder* 

But what— r he began* Then, Why, 
it is the old uniform — he carries the tri- 
color* Where did you find NapoIeon^s 
soldier, my President?'^ 

The President watched him tenderly* 

That is my secret, friend Joseph* Does 
he look to you like the little color-bearer, 
my friend, that marched gayly out, in the 
sparkling sunshine? But see — he is no 
child — his hair is gray*'^ He bent forward* 
He saw a spasm of pain contract the worn 
face* He saw the involuntary movement 
of muscles when tortured nerves cry out* 
He saw the stark will of the man who sternly 
commanded his anguish to be decent and 
to make no moan* 

44 



THE TOY-SHOP 



** He is a soldiert my Joseph, one of my 
soldierst and in the evening he is doing 
the greatest deed of all/' The President's 
voice had sunk into a cadence which was 
melodious with all the pain the world has 
known — and all the joy* He held with his 
own the sufferer's eyes so that he cotild not 
fail to understand* 

" He is a hero—!" 

The President sat with the sick man in 
a pregnant silence, while the color came 
back into the face of the man on the bed* 
At last there came a smile* When he was 
satisfied that his work was done, the Presi- 
dent rose* For a moment his hand touched 
Joseph's brow as the sculptor does his clay, 
with that touch which is a caress* 

And now, friend Joseph, good-bye*" 

After he had gone, Joseph looked at the 
toy the President had left* He put it to 
his lips* He held it to his meagre chest* 
45 



THE TOY^SHOP 



And thus they lay, the man and the toy, 
antil the exaltation on Joseph's face soft- 
ened into perfect peace* 

Toys — toys — So his thoughts sang 
themselves* ^* Toys* Nothing else is real* 
Toys of tenderness — toys of mirth — toys 
that sail a man back to childhood — toys 
that sweep a man into manhood — and be- 
yond*'' He held the color-bearer passion- 
ately close* A hero!'" he said* Thank 
God for the man who knows our hearts* 
The world is his toy-shop and men and 
women are his toys* He can use everybody 
— it makes no difference how ugly a toy 
may be* He loves them even when they 
are naughty — just like a little girl when 
she spanks her dolly*"' Joseph smiled at 
his own thoughts with tenderness* * * * 
Just like the Qirist who suffers us to 
come to Him*'' 

I wonder * * * is it because he loves 
46 



THE TOY^SHOP 



people or because he plays with them that 
he is so far above them? — I believe he is 
very far off — looking on* He is really 
neither smiling nor looking sad — jtist see- 
ing/^ 

The room was quiet* The pain had 
ceased* Joseph clasped his toy and slept* 

Into the damp night air drifted suddenly 
a wave of sound* It startled Mrs* Schotz^ 
who sat at work by the lamp, watching late 
into the night* Even as she lifted her 
head to listen it swelled into a distant growl 
of thunder, threatening, sullen* A startled 
voice came from her husband^s bed asking 
what the noise might be* Before she had 
time to answer, the door burst open, and 
their neighbor, the cobbler's wife, ran into 
the shop* 

** Have you heard,'' she shrieked — have 
you heard? They have killed him, the 
47 



THE TOY-SHOP 



good President "With the last word she 
was oat of the door* 

Joseph fell back and lay still* His hands 
were clinched and his lips were locked* He 
tried to lock his heart, too* He did not dare 
to feel* ♦ ♦ ♦ 

* A hero/ " he thought* " He called 
me that*** The sound of his wife*s sob- 
bing filled the room* * * * No, it would never 
do to weep* Ah-h!'* A pang greater 
than he had ever known shattered him* 
He held that down, too* It was then that 
a great thought came to him — the pain 
taught him* 

The same future, then, for him and for 
me-'' 

He lay very still while the thought grew 
and filled him* The sound of his wife's 
sobbing sank lower and lower* She crept 
close to her husband and laid her hand on 
his* He took it gently in his weak fingers, 
48 



THE TOY-SHOP 



and thus they remained* The room seemed 
empty* 

They killed him^ too^ thy Napoleon/' 
at last his wife saidt timidly* Joseph 
started* The name of the old god made 
him know how far he had gone* For a 
moment he felt shamet as though he, too, 
had betrayed* Then he spoke: 

** If the Emperor, too, had had — toys — 
and if he had played with them; if he had 
been able to latigh at the world and — yes — 
a little at himself; if he had been able to 
laugh at himself — and cry over other people 
— ^he would not have stayed at St* Helena* 
And ♦ * * he would have been almost as great 
as the President*^' 

Mrs* Schotz started forward and put her 
face close to that of her husband* She 
spoke with her eyes on his eyes* 
You say — that — my Joseph?'' 

He nodded his head weakly but with 
49 



THE TOY^SHOP 



meaning* And both were silent with that 
silence which follows trath proclaimed* 

After a few minutes he took up his thought 
again* 

I thought, my wife, that the end of 
life had come for me when I knew that I 
should have to sit here in the shop the rest 
of the days of my life and make toys for 
children* Now I know that it was but the 
beginning* He taught me* There could 
be nothing greater* The toys will live in 
the homes of the children. They will find 
them, too, the toys he bought for his boy — 
after he has gone* But not every one will 
know the work that they have done. Nor 
will all the toys the President left be 
so easily discovered* ♦ • ♦ I, too, am his 
toy." 

He stopped, for he was weak. After a 
time, when he had Iain gazing at the wall 

with a look that was new to his face, an 

50 



THE TOY^SHOP 



eeiger look that made his wife break into 
hopeless htst silent sobbings he said: 

It is enotigh to have made him smile/' 

When the President had been carried to his rest 
it came to pass that men whom the dead man had 
not known were called into the hotise to make ready 
for those who were to come* Through the long 
hoars of the day they toiled* The garments that 
the President had worn and those things which he 
had tised in his labor were placed aside* When it 
was evening they came upon an upper chamber full 
of toys* The men closed the door hastily and came 
away* But at night when they drew near to their 
own homes they kissed more tenderly the children 
who ran to meet them from their open doors. 




LIBRARY OF 
WELLESLEY COLLEGE 




BEaUEST OF 
Ella Smith Elbert '88